What if an Uninsured Driver Caused My Accident but the Car Owner is Insured?

A major problem for motorists injured in accidents on Florida’s roadways, and particularly in South Florida, is the issue of insurance and, specifically, what insurance the other driver who caused the accident does or does not have.  Florida has the highest rate of uninsured drivers or underinsured motorists on its roads of any state in the country, which makes it all the more important to have uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM) insurance coverage as a part of your own automobile liability insurance policy.  However, you have no control over the insurance situation of the person that hits you, so the best scenario for you if you are the victim of an accident caused by someone else’s negligence is if the other person has plenty of insurance. Unfortunately, in Florida it is much more likely that the driver who have hit you is uninsured.

Typically, if you are hit by an uninsured or underinsured driver, you would think that the only option you would normally have would be to make a claim against your own UM insurance.  Nevertheless, if an uninsured or unlicensed driver is driving someone else’s car when the uninsured driver hits you, then the answer may not be quite so simple.  The car’s owner may also potentially be on the hook for your injuries and other damages from the accident because automobile liability insurance policies in Florida typically follow the vehicle, not the driver.  Therefore, who is driving the car does not always end up mattering as much as how much insurance covers the vehicle that hit you.

How the Car’s Owner Can Be on the Hook if the Car’s Driver Is Uninsured

If a college student at Florida Atlantic University who is uninsured borrows a friend’s car and injures someone, but the car is covered under its owner’s parents’ insurance policy, then that insurance policy will normally be available to compensate the accident victim regardless of who is driving the vehicle when the accident occurs. This would enable the accident victim to have a source to tap for compensation for whatever injuries and damages the accident victim suffered.

The car’s owner could also be considered negligent, and thus his or her insurance potentially in play, if the driver to which he or she entrusted the vehicle was uninsured and/or an unsafe driver the car’s owner knew that under something known as the “dangerous instrumentality” doctrine.  This is a legal concept where a car’s owner can be held responsible for injuries and damages caused by someone else driving that individual’s vehicle if the vehicle’s owner knew the person borrowing the car was either not a safe driver or was not insured, but still allowed his or her vehicle to be used anyway.  This is often an excellent way for an injured person to recover where the driver of the borrowed vehicle knew the person to which the car’s owner entrusted his or her car either did not have insurance or had a spotty driving record.

Contact Schwed, Adams & McGinley

At Schwed, Adams & McGinley, our experienced personal injury attorneys have more than 150 years of representing the victims of motor vehicle accidents and other personal injury scenarios in Florida.  We have dealt with just about every situation imaginable when it comes to the insurance situation of the motorist who hit you.  Our lawyers are experienced, creative litigators who will seek to obtain maximum compensation for your injuries regardless of what kind of accident you were involved in or no matter the insurance issues related to that accident.  If you have been injured due to someone else’s negligence in Florida, contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Schwed, Adams & McGinley, P.A. today at 877-694-6079 or contact@schwedlawfirm.com for a free consultation.